2021 Mazda MX-30 electric SUV revealed: price, specs and release date
Offering a noticeably different driving experience to other electric cars, the Mazda MX-30 will cost less than its rivals...
On sale Early 2021 | Price from £30,000 (est)
Car makers are a cautious bunch – they want to be absolutely sure that something will sell before committing the money and resources needed to make it. That’s why, when it comes to electrification, most will introduce hybrid and plug-in hybrid models before going fully electric. Mazda, however, isn’t most manufacturers, and it has eschewed this toe-dipping approach in favour of jumping straight into the plunge pool. The new Mazda MX-30, then, is a fully electric SUV.
Based on the same underpinnings as the new 3 family hatchback and CX-30 family SUV, the MX-30 has similar general proportions to the CX-30 but is taller in order to accommodate its battery. It’s also significantly stiffer than its siblings, which should make it agile to drive. One of its most obvious styling flourishes is rear-hinged rear doors, which echo those once used by the firm’s RX-8 sports car and should make loading things such as buggies and wheelchairs easier than with conventional doors.
2021 Mazda MX-30 power and range
Power comes from a 141bhp motor that’s fed electricity by a 35.5kWh battery. The MX-30’s official range of 130 miles between charges is far less than that achieved by rivals; the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro are both proven to be capable of more than 250 miles in real-world conditions. But Mazda says that by using a smaller battery than those cars, the CX-30 is able to achieve fewer emissions throughout its life, right from it being built to its parts being scrapped. Mazda also notes that most of its European customers drive an average of only 31 miles each day. Charging the MX-30 from flat to 80% takes up to 40 minutes when using a 50kW rapid charger of the type you’ll find at most motorway service stations, while a home wallbox will take much longer.
Mazda won’t offer a version of the MX-30 with a bigger battery, but a range-extender version, in which a small engine will be used to recharge the battery on the move, will be added to the line-up later on. Interestingly, that range-extender version is planned to offer multiple fuel sources, potentially including a hydrogen fuel cell. The company is likely to introduce hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the MX-30 in the future as well.
While most electric cars feature heavy regenerative braking (where energy normally lost under deceleration is harvested and fed back into the battery), the effect is dulled on the MX-30, because Mazda feels that using a traditional brake pedal will be easier for most drivers – although the system still feeds some energy back into the battery. The MX-30 also makes artificial sounds that are designed to mimic the changes in engine note as the driver accelerates. These things, Mazda says, are meant to make the MX-30 appeal to those who “don’t want to sacrifice driving pleasure” when buying an electric car. The company is considering offering a silent version in the future, though.
2021 Mazda MX-30 interior and equipment
Inside the MX-30, there’s a new 7.0in infotainment touchscreen, with a separate touch-sensitive panel below it for the climate controls. It can be hard to hit touchscreen icons while you’re driving, so Mazda has also included a rotary controller and shortcut buttons for its MZD Connect system.
Much of the upholstery has been created with the environment in mind, too; it eschews real leather in favour of a vegan alternative, for example, and environmentally sourced cork has been used to create many of the storage spaces in the centre console.
2021 Mazda MX-30 price
Prices for the MX-30 will cost just less than £30,000 when the Government’s £3500 grant is taken into account. Sales are expected to be small to begin with, with Mazda expecting the MX-30 to account for only up to 5% of total volume in its first year on sale.
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The best and worst electric cars
Are you thinking of going green? If Mazda's new MX-30 electric SUV has got you thinking about an electric car, then you'll find this story very useful, because we've named the best electric cars on the market – as well as the worst.
10. Tesla Model X
On paper, Tesla's all-electric family SUV seems to be the dream all-rounder, combining the luxury of a Range Rover Sport with the green credentials of an electric car. In practice, its low running costs and practical interior are hard to fault, and even entry-level versions aren't short on pace, but parts of its interior do feel a little cheap given the price.
9. Renault Zoe
The Zoe’s main strength is that it feels like a conventional, stylish, nippy small car, and just happens to cost pennies to run. The electric motor has enough shove for the Zoe to lead the charge away from traffic lights, and the interior has room for four to sit in reasonable comfort. Even the boot is larger than you’ll find in many regular small cars; it's easily big enough for a family's weekly shopping. The Q90 version managed 132 miles in our Real Range test.
8. Nissan Leaf
This second-generation Leaf is a much better all-rounder than the original model. It’s faster, more sophisticated to drive, bigger inside and, perhaps most importantly of all, capable of longer distances between charges. Just make sure you resist the temptation to go for the e+ version; it may have the biggest range of any Leaf yet, but it's also expensive and hard-riding.
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